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“Drawing lines on a map”: English Regionalism and Regional Identity in Post-war Yorkshire and Humberside

DOHERTY, ROBERT,PATRICK (2017) “Drawing lines on a map”: English Regionalism and Regional Identity in Post-war Yorkshire and Humberside. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The failure of either a regional tier of government, or a strong and coherent regional political movement to emerge in England – in contrast to the Post-war devolution developments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, not to mention Europe – has led to the general dismissal of regionalism as a significant political force in England, and led to its characterization as the ‘dog that never barked’; merely the preserve of a handful of committed regionalists. This thesis builds on recent scholarship in Post-war British history, broadly categorized as the ‘new political history’, to challenge these traditional narratives. It explores how regional identities were constructed and articulated in a number of official, semi-official and unofficial spheres. It also considers how these interacted with central government and other interests. It does so through a number of case studies, or ‘core samples’, exploring various dimensions of regional action in different contexts. These include regional economic development and industrial promotion agencies; local government; airports and other transport considerations; and regional arts policy. The thesis focuses on Yorkshire and Humberside, a region that has not received much scholarly interest with regards to regionalism, but which has been considered prominently on literature exploring ‘the North’. Through this case study, this thesis highlights not only the potency of regionalism and regional identity, but also its complexities, contingencies and constraints. Through its core samples into economic planning, regional boosterism, local government reorganisation, transport and arts policy, this study adds additional perspectives to on-going historical discourses in contemporary British and European history. It also provides some insight into contemporary political concerns around the re-emergence of identity politics. It argues that complex, pluralist and distinct regionalisms – as were articulated and mobilized in Yorkshire during this period – form an important and often neglected dimension of contemporary British history that requires more concerted study.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Dec 2017 12:27

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